Holmes Leads FBR Mickelson Close Behind

By Associated PressFebruary 2, 2008, 5:00 pm
2007 FBR OpenSCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- J.B. Holmes shot a 5-under 66 to build a two-shot lead through three rounds of the FBR Open on Saturday in front of a record 170,802 partying fans at the rowdiest stop on the PGA TOUR.
 
Holmes, who won the FBR as a rookie in 2006 but is winless since, took a 14-under 199 total into Sunday's final round with just over $1 million at stake for the winner on the desert layout at TPC Scottsdale.
 
Charles Warren, co-leader after the first round, shot a 67, bogeying the final hole, to match Jonathan Byrd at 12 under. Byrd had a 68.
 
Ben Crane and Nick O'Hern were 11 under, and two-time champion Phil Mickelson was in a group of six at 10 under.
 
The turnout, which featured gridlock in front of concession stands and along the path between the 18th and 16th holes, broke the single-day record of 168,337 set in 2006.
 
'The entire golf course had people everywhere,' Mickelson said. 'It's so special for this tournament, for the game of golf, to have something like this.'
 
With one day to go, the tournament has drawn 466,551 fans. Turnout always falls considerably for the Sunday round, even when the Super Bowl is not just down the road, but the overall tournament attendance record of 536,767 is well within reach.
 
The turnout set records for Thursday (83,657) and Friday (120,891), too.
 
'It's totally different than anything we experience,' Warren said. 'But even compared to yesterday you could tell that there were a lot more people out there.'
 
The big-hitting Holmes won the FBR in just his fourth tournament as a rookie. He has shot 68-65-66 this year, giving him eight rounds in the 60s in nine played overall on the 7,216-yard course.
 
Holmes pulled away from a tie with Warren with birdies on the par-5 13th, par-4 14th and par-4 17th. Holmes opened his round with a bogey on No. 1, then reeled off birdies on holes three through six.
 
Overall, he had three bogeys and eight birdies.
 
'It was a good day all around,' he said. 'I made a couple of more bogeys than I would have liked, but luckily I was making putts and made a lot of birdies today.'
 
Mickelson shot a 67 in the third round but bogeyed both par 3s on the back nine. The second came on the raucous 16th where more than 10,000 loud fans surround the layout, lustily cheering good shots and booing the bad ones just as fervently.
 
The crowd chanted 'A-S-U! A-S-U!' for Mickelson's alma mater, Arizona State.
 
But he knocked his tee shot far to the left, then his chip shot fell short of the green. Local favorite or not, the crowd let him have it.
 
'Sixteen is great when you hit a good shot, and I hit a terrible shot,' Mickelson said. 'So they were just as hard on me as they would be anybody, and rightfully so.'
 
He followed that bogey with a birdie on the par-4 17th to return to 10 under.
 
One of those tied with Mickelson was Justin Leonard. The only other time the Super Bowl was held in Arizona, 1996, Mickelson beat Leonard in three playoff holes.
 
After a frost delay for the third day in a row -- this one lasting 58 minutes -- 45 golfers finished the second round Saturday, with a logjam of five in the lead when the third round began.
 
Among those missing the cut were defending champion Aaron Baddeley, who wound up at even-par 142.
 
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    Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

    The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

    Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

    Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

    Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.

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    Garcia cruises to five-shot win in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:10 pm

    SINGAPORE - Sergio Garcia played 27 holes on the last day without dropping a shot to win the Singapore Open by five strokes Sunday in an ominous display of his newfound self-belief as he prepares to defend his Masters title.

    Still brimming with confidence after claiming his first major title at Augusta National last year, Garcia started his new season with a runaway victory at the Sentosa Golf Club, finishing at 14-under 270.

    Returning to the course just after dawn to complete his third round after play was suspended on Saturday because of lightning strikes, Garcia finished his last nine holes in 4 under for a round of 66 to take a one-shot lead into the final round.

    With organizers desperate to avert the constant threat of more bad weather and finish the tournament on time, Garcia promptly returned to the first tee shortly after and fired a flawless 3-under 68, cruising to victory with 10 straight pars as his rivals floundered in the stifling humidity.

    ''It may have looked easy, but it wasn't easy. You still have to hit a lot of good shots out there,'' Garcia said. ''It's always great to start with a win, to do it here at this golf course against a good field in Asia on conditions that weren't easy. Hopefully I can ride on this momentum.''

    Garcia's closest rivals at the end were Japan's Satoshi Kodaira (71) and South African Shaun Norris (70). Both birdied the last hole to share second spot but neither was ever close enough on the last day to challenge the leader.


    Full-field scores from the Singapore Open


    ''I could not reach Sergio. I was thinking, 12 or 13 under for the win, but he went beyond that,'' Kodaira said.

    Jazz Janewattananond (71) and his fellow Thai Danthai Bonnma (73) finished equal fourth at 8 under, earning themselves a spot in this year's British Open, while American Sean Crocker, who was given an invitation to the event after turning pro late last year, also won a place at Carnoustie by finishing in a tie for sixth.

    Garcia made just three bogeys in 72 holes and his victory provided the 38-year-old with the 33rd title of his professional career and his sixth on the Asian Tour.

    He has also won three titles in the last 12 months, including the Masters, and his game looks to be in better shape now than it was a year ago.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for Augusta National because of the steamy conditions and the testing stop-start nature of the tournament, which is regularly stopped because of inclement weather.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore a year ago, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    "I'm extremely happy with how the week went. It was a tough day and a tough week, with the stopping and going. Fortunately, the weather held on. Still, it was hard to play 27 holes under this heat and I can't wait to get a cold shower,'' Garcia said. ''I came with some good confidence and wishing that I will play well. I hit the ball solid the whole week and didn't miss many shots.''

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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.